Saturday, 4 April 2009


Saturday, 4 April 2009

Spoilers. The best episode in months, but recent quality had plummeted to yawning depths, so that's not really saying much. "Today Is The Day" is an oddly-scheduled two-parter as we approach the finale, and it succeeds in giving us momentum regarding Riley's demise and to unmasking Jesse (Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen) as her killer. However, the fact remains that Jesse's an annoying and joyless character, so you can't even love-to-hate her, which makes it makes it difficult to care about the outcome either way. I just want her gone; I don't care how.

Sarah (Lena Headey) learns about Riley's death in a roundabout fashion and surmises that Cameron (Summer Glau) must be responsible because her son's girlfriend was becoming a threat to their cover. But John (Thomas Dekker) isn't convinced their cyborg minder woud be so callous. Of course, the Connor's don't know that Riley was murdered by Jesse (who they likewise have no clue about), but John later notice defensive wounds on Riley's hands when he visits her body in the morgue.

The much-derided Dekker was actually pretty good in this episode, but particularly in those emotional scenes saying goodbye to his girlfriend (and link to a "normal life"), as well as a scene where he visits Riley's oblivious family as their household receives a phonecall from "Riley" (actually Cameron, replicating her voice) to try and assure them their foster daughter's safe -- for now. It's all part of John's plan, but Cameron drags the conversation out to an upsetting length for John, supposedly to make it sound more credible.

Elsewhere, Jesse proves she isn't a wholly impassive bitch, by hitting some local bars after disposing of Riley's body and picking a fight with some USAF pilots. Or did she only do that so she had an alibi for her cuts and bruises sustained after grappling with Riley? After winding up in jail after the resulting brawl, she's bailed out by Derek (Brian Austin Green), who seems to be picking up on her odd behaviour. Will he start to crack the riddle about why Jesse's been sent back in time? He's not the sharpest tool in the box.

The episode also contains a flashback(-forward?) to Jesse's tour aboard the "Jimmy Carter", a US submarine in the wartorn future of 2027 A.D, being piloted by a reprogrammed Terminator called Queeg (a reference to a character in "The Cain Mutiny" and not Red Dwarf's evil computer, I assume), headed towards Serrano Point. This mission is clearly going to be the moment where Jesse lost faith in using "metal" as tools, as Queeg (Chad L. Coleman) mysteriously changes course for an offshore oil rig under secret orders from John Connor. Quite an interesting development, as the oil rig is populated by Terminators, so is Future John collaborating with a faction of the enemy? Is it a good thing that the future-set concurrent storyline in T:tSCC is twice as interesting as the present-day stuff? Not really.

The subplot at ZeiraCorp has become incredibly tedious now, as John Henry (Garrett Dillahunt) plays Hide & Seek with ginger moppet Savannah, meaning Catherine (Shirley Manson) becomes concerned about her whereabouts. Ellison (Richard T. Jones) arrives to help question the inquisitive A.I, but John Henry just wants to play the game through to its conclusion -- and Catherine is happy to go along with her creation's wish, to Ellison's confusion. When will the dullard Fed twig that Catherine's a machine? He's aware that these cyborgs can look completely lifelike, so it's plain bizarre that he hasn't even entertained the possibility that his stilted boss is an automaton.

Overall, I found this episode was good in certain areas, but still difficult to enjoy -- for a number of reasons: the budget wasn't available to do justice to the flashfoward submarine sequences (it was particularly sad we didn't see Skynet's attacking "Kraken"), the languorous Catherine subplot is long overdue a shot of adrenaline in the arm... and, most crucially, the audience have been way ahead of the characters (regarding Riley and Jesse) for months now, so we're waiting for the show to catch-up. And that's no fun.

2 April 2009
Virgin1, 10pm

Writers: Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
Director: Guy Norman Bee

Cast: Lena Headey (Sarah), Summer Glau (Cameron), Thomas Dekker (John), Brian Austin Green (Brian), Stephanie Chaves-Jacobsen (Jesse), Busy Philips (Kacy), Yuri Lowenthal (Garvin), Krishna Cole (Blake), Erin Fleming (Goodnow), Chad L. Coleman (Queeg), Drew Rausch (Rick), Theo Rossi (Dietz), Chris Ellis (Hayes) & Gregg Edward Perrie (Aaron)